Darby: Where You Find Your Inner Cowboy

If you drive south from Kalispell and past Missoula on Hwy. 93 toward the Idaho border, you’ll come into a town living its western heritage and not afraid to flaunt it. Darby, MT is one of the most fun friendly little towns you’d ever want to be seen in.

Darby exalts in its western feel. From its Welcome Banner to its long covered walkways, the town screams old west. Unlike many would-be western communities, this one lives through its art, ranches, farms and people.

Even the library blends into the overall mountain past. Marvelous sculptures dot the town’s streets. More examples of local offerings can be found in a gift shop that could have doubled as the mercantile back in the day of early ranches and fur trappers.

Did you know that small communities in the west continue to have marshals as their law enforcers? Darby does. The town makes sure that none forget it, either.

Whether you stop, as we did, to take a shot of an old barn against the backdrop of blue sky and mountain meadow, you will not be disappointed in your stay in this small, but proud Montana town.

Stop by in July for the annual rodeo and cheer the riders and ropers until you’re hoarse. Bull riding is a specialty around this part of the state as can be testified to by their signage. When you’ve exhausted your people skills for the moment, take a short jaunt south of town to see the valley’s natural attractions.

Many roads lead away from the highway. You don’t have to go far to see more vastness than you thought possible. Take a few photos along the way. Stop at the historical markers and learn about the area as you go. Trapper’s Peak is a must for camera buffs, but there are wildlife opportunities like deer, range cattle to watch, the occasional sheep, and sunsets to keep the finger on the camera button.

Good food is served up at various cafes and restaurants in town for those who’re in need of sustenance. Take the time, too, to acquaint yourself with the locals. They love talking about their part of the world and suggesting places of interest to you. If you like to fish, take rods and reels so that you can sample the local rivers. There’s trout and a few other native fish swimming in those streams waiting for a nice meal, too.

When you leave Darby, you’ll probably feel as we did the first time we visited the town and its immediate area. You’ll know that returning will be on your agenda in the future. It’s much like Jackson Hole in that regard but with fewer tourists and less flash.

I hope you take an opportunity to come up to the top of the world and join us in our adventures to common places with the not-so-common touch.

6 thoughts on “Darby: Where You Find Your Inner Cowboy

  1. Hey Claudie, . Absolutely love this piece. If I had the privilege to have picked the time and place to have been born I do believe Darby,MT in the thrill of the true, Old West Days. Wanna-be cowboys dress up pretty, but to view an honest to goodness cowboy and true West ways have always been a dream of mine.I enjoy so much photos of Jo’s of the places you two have experienced together, and have had the pleasure of memory-making trips. I long to see the pride of wild horses, one of God’s most beautiful creatures standing as the wind blows through their mane and tail.
    Claudie, you have been blessed to see much of our beautiful America, and I am so thankful that you share your thoughts and photos with us, that haven’t yet made it there yet. There are many countries that entice us with their beauty, but why not first start in our own front yard and then travel out into the rest of this great world. K.N.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Kandy. We love going down and spending time there. Hopefully we’ll get to go down next month for the day or go on to revisit Salmon, ID. That’s another nice experience. But first we have to go to Washington for a short visit with BJ’s oldest son.

      Next week, this stories here will begin a long series of experiences we had while on the road last winter. Some great pics, too.

      • Look forward to stories and pictures. I love how you bring adventure and a view of the West to my life. I sat in awe of you. You are such a true inspiration to me. I can’t begin to tell you how much. Enjpy all of your stories and photos, but the West is my favorite. K.H.N.

  2. Look forward to future stories and photos. You paint a beautiful picture with words alone, but the visual pictures are great as well. I sat in awe of you. You are a true inspiration to me, I can’t express how much. I anxiously await future stories to come. Your travels and adventures take many of us to places that we normally wouldn’t get to know about without you being our travel guide………… KHN

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